Cracked, broken, and decayed teeth require restoration or they will break down further until they become infected and/or require extraction. At Complete Dental Health, our goal is to preserve your natural teeth for as long as possible.
Depending on the extent and location of the damage, we will likely recommend an inlay, onlay, or crown. Different levels of the same idea, these restorative dentistry treatments are custom-made to protect your tooth and restore it to its full, healthy, and functioning condition.
Another reason you may need an inlay, onlay, or crown is due to extensive tooth decay breaking down your tooth that requires more than a simple filling to fix, or an old filling that needs to be replaced. Here’s how these options compare:
Fillings: only fill a small, center portion of the biting surface of your tooth; is not a treatment for extensive damage
Inlays: fill a larger portion of the biting surface than a filling contained within the cusp
Onlays: fill and cover the biting surface of your tooth including up and over the rounded ridges (cusps)
Crowns: cover the whole tooth; all or most of the portion visible above your gums
Benefits of Inlays & Onlays
Inlays and onlays can be a great intermediate solution between a filling and a crown. Complete Dental Health can help determine if you need an inlay or onlay. If you do, here are some of the benefits:
While considered a relatively “old” technique, inlays/onlays are still the most appropriate and most effective treatment in many cases.
Your tooth can withstand 50-75% more chewing pressure with an inlay or onlay.
Inlays/onlays are a restorative dentistry treatment that holistically heals your tooth.
Inlays/onlays can last longer than fillings.
Inlays/onlays are made with porcelain or resin to match your natural tooth color.
An inlay or onlay is less expensive than a crown.
Sometimes an inlay or onlay can be completed during one dental visit.
An inlay/onlay fits perfectly over your tooth so there will be no bulging that bothers your tongue, cheek, or bite.
Getting an Inlay or Onlay
If you’re in the San Diego area and need an inlay or onlay, Dr. Timothy Collins has you covered! Depending on your case, the inlay/onlay treatment will either require one or two trips to the office.
For the two-visit process: the tooth is prepared by cleaning out any decay and taking an impression. You may be given a temporary filling just to protect the tooth from further damage. The inlay or onlay will then be made in a lab using your impression. You’ll return for a second visit to remove the temporary filling and have your inlay/onlay permanently placed on your tooth.
For the one-visit process: the tooth will still be prepared with a good cleaning. But instead of taking impressions, the dentist uses digital technology to take a photo of your tooth and create a perfect inlay/onlay right there in the office. You’ll relax until it is ready and they will place it on your tooth, all in one day.
The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.